Making the World Global

U.S. Universities and the Production of the Global Imaginary

Book Pages: 304 Illustrations: 3 illustrations Published: June 2019

Author: Isaac A. Kamola

Globalization and Neoliberalism, Pedagogy and Higher Education, Politics

Following World War II the American government and philanthropic foundations fundamentally remade American universities into sites for producing knowledge about the world as a collection of distinct nation-states. As neoliberal reforms took hold in the 1980s, visions of the world made popular within area studies and international studies found themselves challenged by ideas and educational policies that originated in business schools and international financial institutions. Academics within these institutions reimagined the world instead as a single global market and higher education as a commodity to be bought and sold. By the 1990s, American universities embraced this language of globalization, and globalization eventually became the organizing logic of higher education. In Making the World Global Isaac A. Kamola examines how the relationships among universities, the American state, philanthropic organizations, and international financial institutions created the conditions that made it possible to imagine the world as global. Examining the Center for International Studies, Harvard Business School, the World Bank, the Social Science Research Council, and NYU, Kamola demonstrates that how we imagine the world is always symptomatic of the material relations within which knowledge is produced.


"Kamola is surely on to an important thread when he connects Prewitt’s positivist and universalist rationalism with the moment of the global." — Tarak Barkawi, H-Net

"Making the World Global is a rich and intriguing exploration of academic knowledge production and its e?ects on the material conditions of the world. In calling for the creation of “new conditions of academic knowledge production," [it] poses a necessary challenge that we should strive to meet.” — Rafael Khachaturian, Perspectives on Politics

“[Making the World Global] is an important book with a guaranteed long shelf life and indeed virtual space life. His theoretical framework is part of emerging works that seek to bring Marxism and Decoloniality together....”
  — Sabelo J. Ndlovu-Gatsheni, International Politics Reviews

“Isaac A. Kamola offers a compelling look at the rise of globalization as a focus of politics and knowledge production in the academy. Linking the globalization of the African university to the globalization of politics and the academy in the United States is as insightful as it is revelatory.” — Siba N. Grovogui, author of Beyond Eurocentrism and Anarchy: Memories of International Order and Institutions

“We take the concept of globalization for granted now. What Isaac A. Kamola does in this brilliant book is show how business schools, the World Bank, and auxiliaries in the social sciences made it so, while displacing an earlier, equally naturalized imaginary of independent countries ‘developing’ along a common path. Making the World Global is essential reading at a moment when the coherence of this global imaginary is in question.” — Robert Vitalis, author of White World Order, Black Power Politics: The Birth of American International Relations


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Price: $27.95

Open Access

Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Isaac A. Kamola is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, and coeditor of Politics of African Anticolonial Archive and The Transnational Politics of Higher Education: Contesting the Global/Transforming the Local.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Preface  ix
Acknowledgments  xvii
Introduction: Globalization and the World  1
Part I. Reproducing the National Imaginary
1. "Creative Imagination" Is Needed: W. W. Rostow and the Rose of Modernization as a National Imaginary  29
2. The World's Largest . . . Development Institution: Robert McNamara and the National Development Imaginary  62
Part II. Marketing the Global Imaginary
3. Marketing Can Be Magic: Theodore Levitt and Globalization as a Market Imaginary  83
4. Realities of the Global Economy: A. W. Clausen and the Banker's Global Imaginary  118
Part III. Reproducing the Global University
5. Stakeholders and Co-Investors . . . Have "Reform" on Their Mind: Kenneth Prewitt and the Defunding of Area Studies  141
6. An Opportunity to Transform the University, and, Frankly, the World: John Sexton and the Global Networked University  168
Conclusion: Reworlding the Global  189
Notes  195
References  231
Index  269
Sales/Territorial Rights: World

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Additional InformationBack to Top
Paper ISBN: 978-1-4780-0473-8 / Cloth ISBN: 978-1-4780-0417-2
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